Voyages of the Sailing Vessel SeaSpace
Brandon and Kathy Jones
The Trip Home
We flew back to New Providence on March 31st. We spent the next 3 days getting organized and re-provisioning (we had lost our frozen food in a power outage while we were gone). I replaced the fluxgate compass in the autopilot thinking that a new one would solve the problem that we had encountered. We would calibrate it on our trip to West Bay.
On April 4th we motored from Coral Harbor around to West Bay. On the way we discovered that the autopilot was still not working. We were going to have to hand steer all the way back to the states.
The next day we sailed and motored from West Bay to Chub Cay. This time we anchored out rather than going into the marina. On the 6th we motored and sailed from Chub across the Bahama Banks to Gun Cay near Bimini. It was a long day (12 hours) of hand steering and we were very glad to drop the anchor just before dark.
On the 7th the weather didn't look favorable for a crossing of the Gulf Stream, so we checked into the marina on Cat Cay to wait for weather.
Cat Cay is a private island - we could stay at the expensive marina but we
couldn't explore the island beyond the immediate surrounding
area of the marina. We enjoyed the scenery anyway. We also bought our last
souvenirs of the Bahamas.
Gun Cay - The Last Night
By the 10th it looked like a weather window was going to open up, so we checked out of the marina, went through the cut, and anchored on the west side of Gun Cay. We enjoyed a swim, our last view of an uninhabited island, and our last Bahamas sunset.
The next day we motored across the Gulf Stream to Miami. Again it was a
long day because we hand steered all the way. When we finally made it through
the entry channel at Miami, we were very glad to check into the marina and
get some rest.
When we checked into the SeaLine Marina, the dockmaster gave us the paperwork that we would need to check in with customs and immigration. We called customs on the phone and were told to go to immigration the next day. After we went to immigration we had a week or so to get a new autopilot and do some sightseeing.
We called the delivery captain who would bring SeaSpace back to Kemah
and arranged for him to arrive in Miami on the 19th and depart on the 21st with
two crew members. He estimated a 7 or 8 day trip, first to Key West and then
across the Gulf of Mexico to Galveston Bay.
We ordered the new autopilot and then began to explore Miami. First
we took the "Duck" tour on the amphibious Duck. It was a hoot. The tour guide
showed us the houses of the rich and famous from the water.
She also showed us the sights of South Beach across the bay on Miami Beach.
South Beach was so interesting that we went back the next day. Kathy was
really enthralled by the Art Deco buildings. She even bought a book on them.
When the captain left the dock with SeaSpace on the 21st, we both had tears in our eyes. It was strange to see her leaving without us. It was even stranger to see her arrive in Kemah on May 4th. Yes, the trip back took much longer than expected due to several storms. The crew did not come straight across the Gulf of Mexico, but rather hugged the coast. At one point they holed up in Gulfport, MS for two days to wait out a storm.
So SeaSpace is finally back in Kemah. We spent two weeks getting her ready for sale. We removed five carloads of clothes, food and equipment and brought them to the house.
Now we are planning our next adventure. Scuba diving trips, cruising the Shannon river in Ireland, who knows what else.
|C. Brandon Jones
email: Brandon "at" cbjones.info
|updated May 24, 2005|